Hiatus and diphthong: what they are, differences and examples

one hiatus is a sequence composed of two consecutive vowels that generate two syllables. For example, chaos [caos]River [río].

one diphthong is a sequence composed of two consecutive vowels that generate a syllable. For example, well [bue-no]new [nue-ve].

The difference more relevant between hiatus and diphthong is the number of syllables they generate; the hiatus generates two syllableswhile the diphthong generates one syllable.

In addition, it is necessary to take into account the combinations of vowels that give rise to these sequences. the open vowels they are a, e, or; the closed vowels they are i, u.

The sequence that forms the hiatus can have two open vowels, the same or different (zoo [zo-o]drop [ca-er]to praise [lo-ar]etc.) or an open vowel and another closed and accented vowel (fast [has-tí-o]root [ra-í-do]lute [la-úd]etc.).

The diphthong sequence can have two different closed vowels (roopsn, widow [viuda]) or an open and a closed vowel and the latter is not accented (pont [pue-nte]trick [em-baucar]beret [boina]).

hiatus diphthong
definition Sequence of two consecutive vowels forming two syllables. Sequence of two consecutive vowels that form a syllable.
Vowel combinations
  • Two different open vowels.
  • Two equal open vowels.
  • Open vowel with closed vowel and tonic.
  • Closed vowel and tonic with open vowel.
  • Two different closed vowels.
  • Open vowel with closed and unstressed vowel.
  • Closed and unstressed vowel with open vowel.
examples
  • Corn.
  • Ci-ru-gí-a.
  • Peri-o-do
  • I-tí-o-pe
  • E-ó-li-co
  • land
  • queen
  • judge us
  • Cir-cuit-to

what is hiatus

It is a sequence that is formed when there are two consecutive vowels that form two syllables in the same word.

For a word to form a hiatus, it must meet one of these three vowel combinations:

  1. Two different open vowels.
  2. Two equal vowels.
  3. An open vowel and a closed and tonic vowel (with an accent).
  4. A closed and tonic vowel (with an accent) and an open vowel.

Examples of hiatus

According to the above rules, these would be some examples of hiatus:

  • Po-e-ma: two different open vowels (o, e).
  • To read: two equal vowels (e,e).
  • root: an open vowel (a) and another closed and tonic (í).
  • coldor: a closed and stressed vowel and an open vowel (í, o)
  • Co-à-gu-lo: two different open vowels (o, a).
  • A-or-ta: two different open vowels (a,o).
  • To own: two equal vowels (e,e).
  • Abs-tra-í-t: an open vowel and another closed and tonic (a,í).
  • Bio-lo-gí-a: a closed and tonic vowel and an open vowel (í,a).

What is diphthong?

It is a sequence that is formed when in the same word there are two consecutive vowels that form a syllable.

A word has a diphthong if any of these vowel combinations are true:

  1. Two different closed vowels.
  2. An open vowel and a closed vowel.
  3. A closed and unstressed vowel and an open vowel (it’s the same rule as above, but with the order of the vowels reversed).

Examples of diphthong

Here are some examples of words that form diphthongs according to the rules seen above:

  • Rui-do: two closed vowels (u,i).
  • Eu-ro-pa: one open and one closed vowel (e,u).
  • In-te-lec-tual: a closed vowel and an open vowel (u,a).
  • Triom-fo: two closed vowels (i,u).
  • Pai-sa-je: open vowel and closed vowel (a,i)
  • phobia: a closed vowel and an open vowel (i,a)

See also:

Eva Andres Vicente

Reviewed by Eva Andrés Vicente

Degree in Classical Philology from the Complutense University of Madrid (2007).

Related Content
Causes and consequences of migration

The causes and consequences of migration are political, social, economic Read more

Difference between organic compound and inorganic compound

One organic compound is all that it is based on Read more

Difference between anabolism and catabolism

Anabolism and catabolism are the parts into which it is Read more

The 10 types of chemical bonds (explained with examples)

The chemical bonds are forces that hold atoms together to Read more

Leave a Comment